Dave Thomas with a student at Miami Beach Senior High holding his Beach High Hall of Fame plaque
|Born:||August 25, 1968|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Miami Beach Senior|
(Miami Beach, Florida)
|NFL Draft:||1993 / Round: 8 / Pick: 203|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
David Garfield Thomas (born August 25, 1968) is a former professional American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Giants. He played college football at the University of Tennessee and was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft.
He moved on to Butler Community College, where he registered 7 interceptions as a freshman and 10 (second in the nation) as a sophomore, on his way to becoming one of the top cornerbacks in junior college.
In 1990, he transferred to the University of Tennessee, where he played in 13 games as a backup cornerback, posting 17 tackles, one interception (returned for 51-yards against UTEP) and one pass defensed. The next year he was redshirted. In October 1991, an off-field incident caused him to lose his final year of sports eligibility at Tennessee. He would still stay at the school and graduate.
Even though he was out of football for two years, the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the eight round (203rd overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft. During his time with the team he was one of the tallest cornerbacks in the NFL and showed promise playing special teams and in some of the nickel packages. He was a part of the Super Bowl XXVIII winning team.
He became the starting left cornerback after replacing Vinnie Clark in the fifth game of the 1996 season, but in the ninth game while playing against the Cincinnati Bengals, he sustained a fractured left femur while covering an onside kick. Although he regained his starter job in 1997, it has been speculated that he was never the same player after his injury. That season, he started 16 games, registered a career-high 88 tackles, along with two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The next year, he started 12 games, recorded 69 tackles, a team-leading 4 forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery. In 1999, he was relegated to backup rookie Fernando Bryant and playing in the nickel defense, finishing with 15 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defensed, 18 special teams tackles, one punt block and one forced fumble on special teams.
On April 11, 2000, he signed as a free agent with the New York Giants to play special teams and in the nickel defense, but was named the starter when Conrad Hamilton was injured and later waived. He was a part of the Super Bowl XXXV team.